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McCain Recovers From Skin Cancer Surgery

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At a press conference Friday afternoon, McCain said he had earlier had a growth at the same site on his temple tested, but that it was benign. White House medical staff recently urged him to have it checked again, he said, and last week, physicians in Bethesda, Md., diagnosed him with melanoma.

The results of Thursday's tests indicated that it was unlikely the skin cancer had spread to the major organs of his body, greatly increasing his chances of winning his second battle with the disease. McCain's doctors have said his two latest melanomas are not related to the one McCain had on his shoulder in 1993.

"I've been in a number of fights in my life and this is just another one, and I'm sure I will prevail," said McCain on Friday.

The outlook would have been much worse if the cancer had spread, since that stage of melanoma is much more difficult to treat, said John Glaspy, MD, MPH, a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.

Glaspy said the kind of surgery McCain had requires one to two weeks for recovery.

"Having an inch divot missing from your skin is not nothing, but you can hurt yourself worse falling off a bicycle," Glaspy said. "It's not like you're removing organs. It's not a major surgery."

Friends say McCain, who turns 64 on Aug. 29, has seen his doctor for checkups every three months since he had the lesion removed from his shoulder seven years ago.

The news of his cancer came during the Democratic National Convention and just days after he toured Western states with Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who won the GOP presidential nomination after a primary battle with McCain. McCain told reporters on Friday that he hoped to be campaigning again by Labor Day, but on Saturday Eckstein said it was unclear whether doctors would clear him by then.

To find out more about melanoma, read this fact sheet.

Also, read WebMD's transcript on 21st century melanoma treatment.

 

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